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OSU Basketball: Ford Brings On San Diego's Bill Grier To Complete Coaching Staff

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Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford added the final piece to his staff with the addition of former San Diego head coach Bill Grier.

A veteran of 117 head coaching wins in eight seasons at USD, Grier also played an integral role in Gonzaga’s rise to prominence as an assistant with the Bulldogs from 1992-2007.

“I’ve gotten to know Bill through our Nike family retreats over the years, and I couldn’t be more excited to have someone with such an impressive reputation and coaching resume joining the Cowboy family,” Ford said. “He’s always been regarded as a top-notch recruiter and tactician of the game, but on a personal level he’s a family man of the highest character. We couldn’t be happier that he’s joining us in Stillwater.” 

Grier led the Toreros to the 2008 West Coast Conference Tournament championship, and rode that momentum into the NCAA Tournament with a first-round upset of No. 4 seed Connecticut - the only NCAA Tournament win in school history.

He led San Diego to six wins over top 25 teams, took down Kentucky in Rupp Arena and racked up eight All-West Coast Conference selections and nine WCC All-Academic Team nods during his tenure. In 2014, the Toreros advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Grier finished his time in San Diego with a 117-144 record, including 51 WCC wins, which ranks 24th in the conference’s history.

“I am very excited to join Travis Ford’s coaching staff and become a part of the Cowboy family,” Grier said. “It’s a tremendous honor to be part of a program with such great history and support and I look forward to competing in the prestigious Big 12 Conference.”

During his time at Gonzaga as the program’s defensive coordinator, the Bulldogs led the WCC in field goal percentage defense six times, including the third best mark in the nation in 2004.

Grier served as the recruiting director for his last 10 years with the Zags, and his 2007 class was the program’s best to that point. That class ranked 11th in the nation by Rivals, and boasted four recruits among the top-100 in the country.

He also successfully developed both post players (1997-2003) and perimeter players (2003-2007). Post players Bakari Hendrix (1998) and Casey Calvary (2001) were both WCC Players of the Year. Perimeter players he worked with included Derek Raivio (2007), the WCC Player of the Year; Adam Morrison (2006), a 1st team All-American and WCC Player of the Year; and Blake Stepp (2004), a 2nd team All-American and two-time WCC Player of the Year.

“He is one heck of a basketball mind,” said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. “Bill is hard working and loyal, and he played a huge part in building Gonzaga basketball to where it is now. And then he became a pain in the rear when he went down to San Diego. He’s extremely detail oriented, and a great scouter and game planner. I leaned on him heavily up here at Gonzaga, especially on the defensive side of the floor. When he went to San Diego he really evolved on the offensive side, and did some special things with those teams. Bill is an unbelievable student of the game who is always looking to learn and get better.”

Grier started his coaching career at his alma mater, Cottage Grove High School in 1986. After serving two years as a freshman coach, Grier was elevated to junior varsity coach and varsity assistant. Grier left Cottage Grove to be the head coach at Creswell High School during the 1990-91 season.

He played two years in junior college (Central Oregon and Southwestern Oregon), then transferred to Oregon where he received a B.S. degree in Leisure Studies and Services in 1990.

Bill and his wife, Nicole, were married in August of 1996. The couple has two daughters, Giselle and Ashley.

Grier’s appointment is contingent upon approval by the OSU Board of Regents.

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